The manufacturing industry might have been slow to adopt cloud-based technologies, but the benefits are now widely recognised with many companies relying on it to automate processes and drive efficiencies.
In fact, you can’t move in today’s technology driven world without hearing the term ‘cloud’. It provides the foundation for the way we run our lives both at work and at home—so much so that the term itself is almost redundant.
Although cloud is an accepted part of everyday operations within the manufacturing industry, making the most of it can still be a challenge, and leading to many businesses using it, but not necessarily unlocking its true potential. According to recent research, a staggering 84 percent of those within the manufacturing industry view investment in the cloud as hugely important in delivering their overall growth strategy. However, despite this, only 17 percent consider cloud a strategic investment, with only a third (31 percent) saying they make significant use of cloud applications today.
Levelling the playing field
With traditional manufacturers often steeped in legacy, on-premises technology, the advent of cloud-based platforms provided a cost-effective and smooth way to embrace digital transformation and transition from outdated systems to innovative applications. It levelled the playing field and gave companies of all sizes the ability to compete—whether they were a new kid on the block, whose systems were born out of agile and scalable technology platforms, or a traditional manufacturer who was investing in the cloud to keep up with old adversaries and new counterparts.
Today, spending on public cloud services is still a huge growth area for manufacturing, with IDC predicting that discrete manufacturing, in particular, will spend more than $20 billion on it this year—accounting for more than one-third of the worldwide total spend. Process manufacturing will spend an estimated $15 billion. With so much being invested in cloud-based services, it is vital to get the most out of every penny spent.
Look before you leap
Cloud technologies are certainly accessible and more affordable. However, is the ease with which manufacturers can get up and running with new technology and applications coming at a cost? With cloud being the ‘new normal’, is the industry, in fact, leaping first and looking later? For all the benefits it can bring, unless cloud technology is adopted in the right way, businesses will struggle to make the move towards digital transformation work.
Gartner suggests that despite cloud being one of the most valuable innovations in current IT and business strategies, it can fail to live up to expectations and is often misunderstood. The analyst firm predicts that as a result, through 2020, 95 percent of cloud security failures will be due to customers not understanding cloud security, or the skills necessary for successful cloud implementation. This sentiment is reflected in research, with a quarter (26 percent) of the people admitting they lack understanding when it comes to cloud technologies. – Read more